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The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

The Counter Narrative: Changing the Way We Talk (and think) About Education

By Charles Williams
A podcast dedicated to changing the way we talk and think about education. We all know that the field isn't perfect but there is plenty of awesome work happening everyday. Listen in as I profile educators who are positively impacting their staff, students, and communities.
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Season 5, Episode 3: Interview with Darrin Peppard
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Darrin Peppard an author, publisher, speaker, and consultant focused on what matters most in leadership and education. Darrin is an expert in school culture and climate as well as coaching and growing emerging leaders. He is the author of the best selling book Road to Awesome: Empower, Lead, Change the Game. Darrin was named the 2015 Jostens Renaissance Educator of the Year, as was the 2016 Wyoming Secondary School Principal of the Year. Darrin was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame in 2019. As a ‘recovering’ high school principal, Darrin shares lessons learned and effective strategies from over 25 years in public education to help leaders (both adults and students) to become more effective and positively impact the world around them. During our conversation, we talked about … well … everything. We discussed the teacher shortage that seems to have been exacerbated by the pandemic and the realization of a different generation that maybe we do not need to push ourselves to utter exhaustion in order to be effective at our jobs, something our current system has not yet caught up with and is becoming less and less attractive to younger educators. We explored the need to shift our focus from catching and punishing the wrong to recognizing and celebrating the achievements. Darrin urges leaders to ask themselves to determine if they are investing their time in energy in actions aligned with their mission and vision or simply putting out fires. Ready to hear two administrators have a candid conversation about education? Let’s go. Connect with Darrin Socials - @DarrinMPeppard Website - https://roadtoawesome.net/ -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
47:56
September 17, 2021
Season 5, Episode 1: Interview with Cristobal Saldana
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Dr. Cristóbal T. Saldaña who serves as an assistant principal at Los Fresnos High School in deep south Texas. This is his twentieth year in education. He is passionate about student success and mentoring budding leaders. He recently launched the Building Leaders Podcast and is the author of One Step Edu, his blog. During our conversation, we talked about encouraging students to notice the voices that are missing, to explore the reason behind the silence, and how those practices can, and do, impact them today. Cris pointed out that many educators are afraid to teach these other perspectives because they do not want to get in trouble or get it wrong but suggests that developing a safe space not only for your students but with your administrator will foster these conversations. He also reminds us that we should continue to harvest the power of connections that we have built through technology and allow our students to connect with others from around the world. Want to know more? Let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
31:21
September 3, 2021
Season 4, Episode 16: Interview with Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- Hey listener, are you a principal in Illinois? If so, I hope that you’re planning to be in attendance at this year’s Illinois Principal Association Conference in Peoria from October 24th through the 26th. With keynotes by Gerry Brooks and Luis Cruz and tons of informational sessions from educators all over the state, including yours truly, it is a can’t miss event. And you know what, I will be recording a series of Principal Ponderings live from the event. So, if you’re going to be there and you want to connect, just let me know. Okay, let’s get into today’s episode. -- In this episode, I reconnect with Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski, who works at Greenfield Central High School as an alternative placement teacher and behavior specialist/coach. She is also a trained yoga, mindfulness, and meditation instructor; and is a contributing author in several books. Jennifer sits as the vice president on the board of directors for the Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully. She is a nature therapy practitioner and is currently converting an old school bus into a tiny home on wheels for herself and her family of 6 to travel in during the summer. During our conversation, Jennifer reflected on her past as one of “those students.” You know the ones. The ones who are never absent and always question the rules. She pointed out that we, as adults, need to know the why behind rules and so do our students because it needs to make sense. We continued by exploring some of the current trends in education and cautioned about developing learned helplessness. Yes, we need to love on our students, and we need to trauma informed. But we also need to ensure that all of their needs are being met. Jennifer pushes educators a little further when she challenges that many of us reflect on the easy questions. That we post and share the good in our professions but are we spending time reflecting on the tough questions … the ones that will really push us outside of our comfort zones. Ready to be challenged by one of those students? Then let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Connect with Jennifer Twitter: @mrs_haston Instagram: wanderinggypsy6
45:03
August 20, 2021
Season 4, Episode 14: Interview with Santiago Meza
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Santiago Meza, an elementary school principal in California who has served the educational community for more than 15 years. He and his wife have been married for 22 years and have two children - one in middle school and one who will be starting high school this year. Meza is known for leading and living with patience and grace, something that he attributes to being a brain surgery survivor. When he isn’t leading his school, he enjoys drawing, listening to music, and reading his bible. During our conversation, we explored his uncommon approach to leading which stems from a simple question - why don’t we do for adults what we do for students? He points out that administrators often urge their staff to demonstrate love and caring to their students yet fail to extend those same courtesies to their staff. How can we expect people to do what we want when we fail to lead by example? Join us as he shares some practical tips for shifting our conceptions and approaches to leadership. Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Santiago's Contact Information: Twitter - @santiagoAM115 Instagram - @santiagoAM115 Linked In - Santiago Meza
38:22
August 6, 2021
Season 4, Episode 13: The Dallas Event
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Stop chasing success. What does that even mean? Why would we stop pursuing the very thing that results from working towards our goals? Confused? So was I. Listen as I reflect on the multitude of emails that I received citing this very same mantra and the revelations that I have had along the way including one during the recording of this very episode.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
11:55
July 30, 2021
Season 4, Episode 12: Interview with Alfonso Mendoza
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I chat with Alfonso Mendoza, an Instructional Technologist & Google Innovator from South Texas with 15 years of experience in education. He has a Masters degree in Educational Technology along with a graduate certificate in E-Learning and a graduate certificate in Technology Leadership in Education. Alonso is a servant leader and am always looking for ways to help my learning community use the power of technology which he facilitates through his show, My Ed Tech Life. Be sure to check it out when you get a chance. During our conversation, we talked about one Alfonso’s passions, technology. In addition to sharing his top 3 tools that we should all be using when we return to our school, we discussed the need to take risks and to step outside of our comfort zones. Technology, for many, can be intimidating and but that our vulnerability helps to build community especially when we learn and grow from one another. A fellow Code Breaker, Alfonso and I also had the opportunity to get to know one another a little better and realized that we had much in common. And don’t miss his clever acronym for memorizing the elements plants need for survival. Why would you need to know that? Think million dollar question on a game show. Ready to learn something new? Let’s go. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
55:10
July 23, 2021
Season 4, Episode 10: Interview with Traci Nicole Smith
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Dr. Traci Nicole Smith, a current college instructor, former public-school teacher, instructional coach, and Director of Special Education who has transformed the lives of countless families for over two decades through her educational expertise and intuitive wisdom.  In 2020, she created The Institute For Conscious-Driven Living to assist individuals in helping/healing professions learn how to identify triggers, heal core wounds, balance energies, and elevate their vibrations. Rather than react, Traci teaches others how to use external triggers as an avenue for deep inner healing to live a more liberated and authentic life. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is a nationally recognized city known for its school reforms in public education yet is still struggling with its own issues. During our episode, Traci dropped plenty of truth bombs and did not hold back. In fact, if you’re listening to this in your car, I want to warn you that much of what she says may result in you wanting to stand up and applaud. For obvious reasons, I ask that you refrain from doing so. If you, however, are listening to this in a public place, feel free to do so and then direct those who are staring at you to this episode. I’m sure they’ll thank you later. Our focus for this episode was the toxic positivity that infiltrates teacher spaces and does much more harm than good. Traci wastes no time attacking those ideologies and behaviors that we have come to accept as normal but then question why we are tired, unhappy, and struggling. Take a listen and then find a way to make your own joy. Contact Traci: Twitter: @theedepistolary IG: tracinicolesmith FB: Traci Nicole Smith LinkedIn:  Traci Nicole Smith, Ph.D Website: www.tracinicolesmith.com   -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
01:02:40
July 13, 2021
Season 4, Episode 9: Pause to Ponder - America's Independence Day
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- We are embarking on the 244th anniversary of America's independence. While this is a time of celebration for many across the country, it is also a time of difficulty for many others. This celebration of freedom is a reminder that not all were granted freedom and that we are still struggling with the reality that freedoms often evade a great portion of the population today. In this episode, I reflect on my own struggles and coming to terms with this holiday. I also share an abridged version of Douglass' speech "What to a Slave is the 4th of July?"  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
25:01
July 2, 2021
Season 4, Episode 8: Interview with Melinda Arnost
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- In this episode, I chat with Melinda Arnost, a witty K-12 Intervention Specialist that is always thinking outside of the box. This curly-haired educator loves everything about teaching minus the paperwork and standardized tests. Melinda has her master’s degree in education, is a personal trainer for students with unique abilities, and is an autism guru. She has a passion for building relationships with her students and colleagues and can embrace inclusion in any type of setting. Melinda started an adaptive nonprofit ice skating program for individuals with unique abilities and runs marathons while pushing her pal, Annie, in a HOYT running chair. She believes people, regardless of their lack of ability, should feel included, supported and loved. Melinda lives in the woods with her husband who is an automotive enthusiast in Ohio. When she is not writing or teaching, she is busy running extreme distances, painting murals or trying to build her own secret garden During our conversation we talked about relationships. Yes, relationships. But not just between students and teachers but between teachers and interventionists. Melinda shared how many of the disconnects that we see with our diverse learners are due to the lack of communication and being on the same page. We also talked about the power of inclusion and what happens when ALL students are able to receive the tools needed to learn in the same spaces. Melinda talked about how educators fear the labels that students carry and judge them before they even enter the class and how connecting with other staff and students can help to dispel those misconceptions. And maybe … just maybe … we redefined what PD should look like. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Connect with Melinda Instagram: Empoweringinclusiontoolbox Facebook: Empowering inclusion Check out her book here
40:09
June 25, 2021
Season 4, Episode 6: Interview with Matthew Joseph
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. I look forward to finally meeting you. -- In this episode, I chat with Matthew Joseph, who currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Leicester Public Schools. He has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 27 years in the field such as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, elementary school principal, classroom teacher, and district professional development specialist. During our conversation, we talked about conflicting parallels that exist with educational leadership. We, as administrators, encourage teachers to adopt a growth mindset and to take risks in their classrooms and yet we utilize punitive evaluation systems that often discourage the very behavior we would like to see. Matthew insisted that we need to develop a system that balances both accountability and innovation so that teachers can move from lessons to experiences and would be more willing to celebrate the attempts of their students as opposed to being focused solely on results. We also discussed the power of reflection … to know oneself so that we can walk in our purpose. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
39:21
June 12, 2021
Season 4, Episode 5: Pause to Ponder - Deconstructing Curriculum
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Click here to register -- I am a true believer in constructing our own curriculums. I do not believe that we should be tied to a textbook published by a company backed by lobbyists pushing their own agenda. These biased approaches limit the amount of information that our students can access and produce skewed perceptions and understanding of the world around them. I spent years designing and building my own curricular materials so that it not only addressed the standards students were expected to master but also connected with my students' interests and experiences. Although it was a challenge, it was well worth seeing them excel in school. What would happen if we deconstructed our current curriculums and built something new? Join me as I explore this very concept. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
18:07
June 4, 2021
Season 4, Episode 4: Interview with Christine Ravesi-Weinstein
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. -- In this episode, I chat with fellow Code Breaker, Christine Ravesi-Weinstein who currently serves as a high school Assistant Principal in Massachusetts and previously worked as a high school science department chair for four years and classroom teacher for 15. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression at 23, Christine began her journey towards mental wellness. She began a non-profit organization in June of 2017 aimed at removing the stigma of mental illness and promoting physical activity as a means to cope with anxiety. During our conversation, we took a deep dive into anxiety and explored ways in which educators can both support students experiencing an anxiety attack as well as proactive measures to reduce the possibility of triggering them. Christine took the time to explain the difference between being diagnosed with anxiety and being anxious, a common misunderstanding that leads to misinformation. We also spent some time exploring how social media not only impacts our students but can, and has, impacted us as educators as we strive to emulate that which we see in our virtual spaces. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. -- Connect with Christine Twitter YouTube Website
55:44
May 28, 2021
Season 4, Episode 3: Pause to Ponder - School to Prison Pipelines
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- The school-to-prison pipeline has been a conversation that has reverberated through our educational system for some time. This episode captures some of my thoughts and reflections about this shameful reality and how I played an active role in perpetuating the very systems of intolerance and injustice that I have dedicated myself to dismantling. Join me as I share some of the practices that existed in my schools, some of which may exist in yours, that ultimately contributed to some of my students finding themselves involved in the judicial system.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
17:17
May 23, 2021
Season 4, Episode 2: Mental Health Awareness Month with Cait O'Connor
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. Let’s get started. -- In this episode, I welcome back Cait O’Connor, a 9th & 12th grade English teacher in upstate New York. Cait is a mental health peer and fierce advocate who is heavily passionate about social justice, antiracism, and anti-ableism. She also believes in combating weight bias and promoting size diversity and representation in the classroom and beyond. We wanted to honor National Mental Health Awareness Month by diving a little deeper into some of the concepts that we discussed previously while also examining some new perspectives around mental health. We begin by discussing the concepts of experts and comparing lived experiences with earned certifications. Cait also points out that, despite the old adage that sticks and stones may break my bones … you know the one … that words actually do carry plenty of power and thus we need to be cognizant of how we utilize terms. The casual misuse of medical diagnoses to commodify everyday behavior contributes to the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of real problems facing many people. This conversation touches on a lot of topics but, as always, ends with some ideas and suggestions for moving forward and doing the work. I hope that you enjoy this episode and remember that its okay not to be okay. And if you’re struggling, find someone to talk to. There are a few resources in the show notes if you need them. Enjoy. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
48:13
May 14, 2021
Season 3, Episode 19: Pause to Ponder - The Anniversary Episode
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. As I mentioned in the intro to the show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its only $35! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. I look forward to finally meeting you. -- Celebrating the one year anniversary of the show, this episode reflects on three positives that have resulted from the creation of the podcast - the documentation of my evolution as an educator, the finding of my true voice, and the desire to expand my understanding of others. I spend some time thanking those that have helped to me to launch this journey including Mike and Josh from the Punk Rock Classroom Podcast as well as Chey and Pav from the Staffroom Podcast.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like, subscribe, and of course share it with friends and family. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the show so please leave a comment or two as well. I’m not sure what platform you’re using but the show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. If the show isn’t on your preferred site, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it up and running. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with me and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
10:41
May 7, 2021
Season 3, Episode 18: Interview with Hedreich Nichols
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Before we jump into today’s episode I wanted to tell you about a super exciting event that I have coming up and I would love for you to be in attendance. In addition to this show, I am the co-host of Inside the Principal’s Office, a web series that runs live on the first and third Saturday of each month. During the show my co-host, Michael McWilliams, and I bring on other educational leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and topics facing us today. We also have a facebook group where educators can connect and learn from each other. Well this summer, we are planning to host an event where we can get together in person. That’s right. Not another zoom. Not another google meet. But live. Even better? Its free! So join us in Dallas for a networking reception on Friday, July 30th followed by a day of activities on Saturday, July 31st. Stop by our twitter page, join us on facebook, or check out an upcoming episode for more information. -- In this episode, I chat with Hedreich Nichols, an author, educator and consultant helping educators and districts amplify the voices of all students. Hedreich’s YouTube series and podcast, SmallBites, further helps campuses amplify student voices by focusing on equity in education. Between SmallBites and her work as a writer, Hedreich works to help educators create more culturally responsive classrooms and campuses. Her Cherry Lake trade titles "What is Antiracism?" and "What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?" provide teachers with materials to help students understand systemic inequities; and her upcoming Solution Tree Title provides educators with guiding principles to help them become more culturally responsible. As a speaker at conferences like VASCD, MASCD, CUE, ISTE, etc. Hedreich provides educators with inspiration to move beyond conversations around race; giving them hands-on, research-based strategies that can be immediately implemented. Hedreich received her Master of Education in educational technology at Texas A&M University. During our chat, we discuss “The Work” … you know … ensuring equitable spaces, disrupting systems, countering the narrative … that work. We took a hard look at some of the painful and uncomfortable truths about the role of systemic racism in education and discussed meaningful and practical approaches to begin unraveling engrained practices and developing long-term solutions. Hedreich’s use of a football analogy helps to clarify why these conversations are so hard for so many and her tips and strategies may cause us to reflect on long-held approached to doing this work. So, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get some work done, this is the episode for you. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Connect with Hedreich Twitter
37:43
April 30, 2021
Season 3, Episode 14: Interview with Michael Weingarth
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found below, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- In this episode, I chat with Michael Weingarth, a biological parent, a foster parent, and an educator who founded the first neuropsychological tutoring and test prep company in 2009. Most of Michael's research and work is about addressing learning challenges faced by bright students, specifically in math, writing, reading, science, and test prep with or without diagnosed learning disabilities.  You can find more of his work at pillarsoflearning.com or read him tweeting into the void at @LearningPillars on twitter. Now, I’m going to warn you before we get started. This episode is heavy. Essential … but heavy. During our conversation, Michael talks about his journey with Twice Exceptional Learners and how he quickly realized that since all of our students are unique they present unique challenges and that we should avoid the prescriptive approaches so often presented as we attempt to incorporate SEL, Mindfulness, and other holistic educational initiatives into our curriculum. Instead, he argues, that context should drive content and we must be wary about teaching students to simply acknowledge and accept the situations in which they are in. Michael takes a deep dive into brain’s processing and points out that this information should be streamlined but due to various reasons, it is overly complicated and thus not readily accessible by all educators. Be sure to check out the show notes to link with all of the resources he shares throughout the discussion. Ready? Let’s go.. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Links & Resources Follow Michael on Twitter Check out his website denasimmons.com Behave by Robert Sapolsky Executive Function & Child Development by Marcie Yeager
01:00:24
April 2, 2021
Season 3, Episode 13: Pause to Ponder - Equal Expectations
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found below, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. Click here to register for the EQuip to Achieve Virtual Summit Registration. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
12:34
March 26, 2021
Season 3, Episode 12: Interview with Livia Chan
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Livia Chan is an educator who is passionate about community, teaching, leading, and lifelong learning. She truly believes in the power of connection and thoroughly enjoys building relationships by reaching out with kindness and gratitude. Livia lives by the belief that it is through every interaction that we have the opportunity to appreciate and uplift others to help make their day a brighter one. Her other passions include family and ringette as a volunteer coach, Executive member, referee, and player. For over 20 years, Livia has continued to experience the joy of teaching in the Greater Vancouver area in BC, Canada and loves her role as a Head Teacher and classroom teacher. Previously, she served on the District Staff Development Team in Learning Technologies supporting K-12 educators. Currently, Livia is honored to be the Digital Content Editor and Ambassador for the Teach Better Team and loves being a part of this family! Her motto is “Working together to better ourselves, each other, and the world around us.” Let’s get better. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. -- Find Livia here Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/liviachanl/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/LiviaChanL Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/liviachanl/ Linked In - https://www.linkedin.com/in/liviachanl/ Voxer - https://web.voxer.com/u/liviachanl Other - https://livchan.com/
43:24
March 19, 2021
Season 3, Episode 11: Pause to Ponder - Women's History Month
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. -- This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use this link you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- Welcome to the Women's History Month episode. Instead of trying to mansplain women's history month, I wanted to instead dedicate this episode to the amazing women in my family. Join me as I highlight the achievements and lessons that I have learned from my grandmother, mother, wife, and five daughters.  I would also encourage you take some time to recognize and appreciate the women in your life and, if you happen to be a woman, yourself as well. You deserve it.  -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
15:39
March 12, 2021
Season 3, Episode 10: Interview with Clement Townsend
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. -- Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use this link, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using the link in the show notes or on any of my other sites. -- In this episode, I chat with Clement Townsend, a Sports Journalist who has spent close to two decades in front of the camera on local news, cable, and the internet.  His career took him to several markets including San Angelo, Texas; Mobile, Alabama; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois.  Clement has covered numerous big events throughout his career such as the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, and multiple college football National Championships.  Clement is the author of “How to Become a Broadcasting Star” and the founder of Broadcasting Career Mentor (BCM).  BCM provides media training for youth across the country and offers in person training and virtual media training through the Video Journalism Pro Online Course. During our conversation, we discussed ways to use media as a platform in which students can blend various academic skills and apply them in a real world setting. He challenges that such programs should not be considered as extras but instead should be essential. As we push our students to higher order thinking skills, he urges educators to transform students into not just consumers of information but creators. Clement recognizes that teachers may be hesitant to incorporate multimedia into their lessons citing that some lack the skills while others lack the support necessary to take such risks. Despite this, he insists that educators start small and allow students to flourish. As educators, it is not our job to know everything but instead we need to facilitate our students’ learning and sometimes that means growing together. -- I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
33:11
March 5, 2021
Season 3, Episode 9: Pause to Ponder - Do We Need Black History Month?
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. Hey listeners! Before we jump into the show I wanted to tell you about The EQuip to Achieve EQ and Remote Learning Summit, which will be held from April 8th through the 11th. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for those seeking strategies, information, and inspiration on everything from parenting and teaching in the digital age, to addressing social isolation through the lenses of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)—and you don’t have to leave your house to attend. We weren’t prepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on our education system, but this virtual event promises to bridge the gaps and equip and empower attendees with the knowledge and skills to do better in 2021 and beyond. Now here’s the best part. Registration for this four-day event will normally cost you over $200. But if you use the link found in the show notes, you can get full access to this entire conference for only $100. That’s over 50% off! So be sure to register today by using this link. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. Black History Month may seem like a decades old celebration that is deeply rooted in our past but the reality is that it has only existed formally for less than 40 years. That may be surprising considering the extensive struggles that African-Americans have had in this country. As we become more aware of that troubling history, however, more and more people are beginning to question whether or not we need a Black History Month or if its presence does little more that contribute the marginalization of black history.  During this episode, I explore the history behind Black History Month and question its role in our educational system today. I acknowledge the pushback by those who stress the need to move beyond a singular month and offer a suggestion for expanding our teaching of black history throughout the year. And I conclude with my hopes for how Black History Month may in fact evolve into something greater.  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
14:08
February 26, 2021
Season 3, Episode 8: Interview with Katie Kinder
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Katie Kinder who has been an educator since 2006. She believes that life is fun, and learning should most definitely be fun. As a teacher of the year, top five district finalist, OKC Rotary Teacher of the Month, a guest on the Oklahoma State Department's EdTalk series, and a top 100 educator in Oklahoma on Twitter, Katie has learned a trick or two in the classroom, so be sure to check her out, have some fun, and hook your students from day one! During our conversation, we discussed the importance of allowing students to see themselves in their work. While Katie is a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe, she also knew that her students should be exposed to poets such as Maya Angelou especially when so many of her students didn’t even recognize this prolific author. Like so many others, she pushes back on the idea of doing things the same way simply because and even challenges those using the current pandemic as an excuse for not making needed change. Katie puts actions behinds her words of “don’t expect your kids to do what you aren’t willing to do yourself” by trying to develop a new district-wide approach to PD - one that would turn her classroom into a living workshop where teachers could witness the implementation of strategies in real-time. I guarantee this episode will have you hooked. Enjoy! I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Click here to register for the EQuip to Achieve Virtual Summit Registration
39:48
February 19, 2021
Season 3, Episode 7: Pause to Ponder - What's In A Name?
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this episode, I explore the meaning behind names and the perceptions some apply to them. Some names like Amari, Jabari, Latrice, and Malek are founded in ancient African languages yet conjure negative and stereotypical images of the people to whom they refer. I share a story in which I pushed back against parents stamping their children with names that would almost undoubtedly make them a target for racial profiling and the colleague who gave me something to think about. The conversation turns towards cultural assimilation and the practice of conforming to a dominant culture, one often rooted in eurocentric beliefs and customs, in order to be accepted. We end with a proclamation to claim and to love our names and either their rich, ancient histories or the uniquely crafted names that give the opportunity to develop their own meanings and legacies.  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
12:19
February 12, 2021
Season 3, Episode 6: Interview with Cait O'Connor
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. - In this episode, I chat with Cait O’Connor, a 9th & 12th grade English teacher in upstate New York. Cait is also a mental health peer and fierce advocate who is heavily passionate about social justice, antiracism, and anti-ableism. She also believes in combating weight bias and promoting size diversity and representation in the classroom and beyond. She can also identify all 50 capitals. During our conversation, we dive into the very uncomfortable topic of mental wellness but Cait is quick to remind us that our discomfort is someone else’s life. She points out that medical conditions have been commodified and that we are quick to use, or should I say misuse, commonly accepted labels but actively avoid addressing these very real situations. In fact, Cait pushes back on widely accepted practices because they focus on the wellness aspect but do not consider the illness behind the behaviors. Most of us approach wellness with a limited set of tools despite there existing a myriad of truths and experiences. Why don’t we, she asks, embrace the same idea of differentiation for addressing wellness as we do with instruction. Cait insists that we need an overhaul and to really examine the educational settings and instructional practices that do not promote a safe environment for all students. We have done a lot of listening around this topic, when will we start acting on it? - I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
32:16
February 5, 2021
Season 3, Episode 5: Crossover with Dr. Sam Fecich of EduMagic
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This is a special crossover episode with Dr. Sam Fecich, host of the EduMagic Podcast, and will be airing simultaneously on both of our shows. If you don’t know Sam, she is a professor of education at Grove City College where she teaches preservice teachers about educational technology or special education. During our conversation, we each shared 2 takeaways from the first half of a very interesting school year. Sam explored the very real fact that online teaching and traditional teaching are vastly different and that we need to be mindful of the unique needs of each as we launch into instruction. She also pointed out the need for ensuring accessibility, for both forms of teaching, if we expect students to succeed. Sam continued by challenging so called norms by encouraging teachers to set boundaries and focus on self-care. In fact, a potential 30-day challenge emerged from this idea on how we can commit to pushing back against toxic positivity. Of course I too shared my two ideas by reminding educators that they are not alone in the challenges they are facing as we are all navigating uncharted waters. And I continued to anchor my belief in the potentially cliched, but no less important, concept of Maslow over Bloom. We must take the time to build strong foundations, especially in a time of remoteness and often disconnectedness. We dropped so many names in this show including Chey and Pav of the Staffroom Podcast, Traci Browder of the Intelligogy Podcast, LaKeisha Carroll of the Kickin it With Kee Podcast, Michael McWilliams and Hamish Brewer, two amazing principals. Be sure to check out Edu Magic and all of the other amazing shows that we referenced and of course, if you have done so already, be sure to subscribe and rate this show on whatever platform you are using. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
41:59
January 29, 2021
Season 3, Episode 4: Interview with Dawn Harris
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Dawn Harris, a passionate and energetic educator who lives by the motto, “Relationships First.” In her roles as a secondary English Language Arts Educator, Gifted and Talented Teacher, and Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Dawn continually strives to bring authentic and engaging learning experiences to students of all ages. Throughout her career as an educator, Dawn has taught in urban, rural, and suburban districts meeting the needs of children from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. In addition to general ELA coursework, Dawn’s classroom teaching experience also includes teaching English as a second language, creative writing, film studies, and response to intervention instruction. Dawn’s professional teaching experiences have been showcased in scholarly journals and at local, regional, national, and international conferences. Dawn’s first book, Plan Like a Pirate, is set to release in 2021. During our conversation, we discussed the power of creating equity committees as we attempt to give students a full educational experience. To do this, however, we must question how racism affects those around us by attempting to understand their perspectives. It’s important to note that this takes work and that mistakes will happen along the way. Dawn recommends several ways to move forward including hosting watch parties to discuss the plethora of virtual professional development now readily available. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. The show can also be found on CodeBreakerEdu.com, a site dedicated to disrupting the status, challenging social norms, and having critical conversations.  Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
32:57
January 22, 2021
Season 3, Episode 3: Pause to Ponder - MLK
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, this episode examines some of his quotes in the context of America today. Join me as I reflect on recent events and what they revealed about the truth of our current society and what this means for us as educators. What can we do to ensure that Dr. King's dream moves closer to reality? How do we remain encouraged during these challenging times?  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
09:46
January 15, 2021
Season 3, Episode 2: Interview with Dustin Pearson
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Dustin Pearson, a 7 year educator in suburban Kansas City, Missouri who teaches high school special education. He is a devout believer and practitioner of relationship building with all stakeholders and uses differentiated instruction, PBL, Inquiry, and career based practices to prepare his students for post-secondary success. Dustin is also a leader, writer, learner, and implements a holistic child approach that is based on reflection, mindfulness, and compassion. He is happy to share that he will begin his doctoral program in Educational Leadership this summer. During our conversation, we talk about the importance of providing students with the opportunity to develop self-advocacy so that they can navigate society, build relationships, and work as a team regardless of where their journey goes beyond high school. We also explore various options beyond the traditional approach of attending a 4-year college as we recognize the diverse talents that our students possess and finding the destinations that best fit their needs. Equity enters the conversation as we discuss how student success can, and should, be defined according to individual student desires and not applying a single approach to all students. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
25:58
January 8, 2021
Season 3, Episode 1: Pause to Ponder - 2021
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. So before we jump into this episode, I wanted to share a special holiday promotion that my friends over at Kick It Apparel are currently running. For a limited time, you can get customized gear at some amazing prices. I’m talking $25 hoodies, $15 tees, and $10 masks. These are the same people who hooked me up with my awesome Counter Narrative hoodie. Check them out at kickit.store and tell them that Charles sent you. This episode is dedicated to the upcoming year. We probably all agree that 2020 was pretty bad, but if we think back I'm sure that we could identify opportunities that we may have missed because we were dealing with the chaos that surrounded us. It is my hope that all of you take two simple steps to ensure that you can capitalize on the opportunities that will undoubtedly be present during the upcoming year. First, be as specific as possible when creating your goals. A measurable goal is much more likely to be met than some generic statement. After all, how will you know if you actually succeed? Second, find someone who will help to hold you accountable. It is easy to convince ourselves to give up but that becomes much more challenging when trying to persuade a trusted colleague, friend, or relative.  Because I believe in practicing what I preach, I conclude the episode by sharing my three goals and inviting all of you to help hold me accountable. That's it. It's out in the world so I either have the choice of meeting these goals or not ... all while knowing that I have shared this publicly. Yikes! What have I done? Oh well... I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. I'm also happy to announce that the podcast can now be found on CodeBreakerEdu.com so go check out the amazing work as they continue to amplify the voices of educators.  Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
10:40
January 1, 2021
Season 2, Episode 21: The Christmas Special
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This is a special episode for a special day. See, I don’t know when you’re actually listening to this episode but I can tell you that today, well the original air date, is December 25th, Christmas Day. And for that reason, I wanted to do a little something different. Now, and I feel that I need to say this before someone attempts to get politically correct, my original intention was to showcase various holidays and their respective traditions. However, when called upon for support, these individuals graciously stepped forward and offered to lend their voices to this special episode. It just so happened that each of them celebrated Christmas. This episode features some of my friends as we reflect on what Christmas means to us, recall some our fondest Christmas memories, and share how we carry on traditions today. I can honestly say that I had a great time recording this session as we laughed, and cried while not only growing closer together but realizing those innate connections that exist within all of humankind. Whether it was the receiving of deodorant, the baking of cookies, the creation of new experiences, or simply spending time with loved ones, Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not transcends its religious foundation and instead embraces a single concept - love. Well, you’re not here to listen to the intro. No … you came for the episode. Before I transition you over, I would like to wish all of my listeners a very Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate. May you all find yourselves in the comfort of your loved ones, whether in person or virtually. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the new year. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
58:14
December 25, 2020
Season 2, Episode 20: Pause to Ponder - Wrapped 2020
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this episode, I adopt a common social media practice and offer my "Wrapped 2020." Sharing my top 3 highlights of the year, I attempt to find meaning in each and encourage my listeners to do the same.  1. Don't allow the competition with others minimize your accomplishments. 2. Always help others become better versions of themselves. 3. Cherish your time with loved ones but do not become so busy that you forget the others.  I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.
11:35
December 18, 2020
Season 2, Episode 19: Interview with Craig Randall
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Craig Randall who has had an eclectic educational career. He started as an elementary school counselor then worked a year in the classroom with students who had severe behavior issues, before taking a major detour into small college basketball coaching for a number of years. Taking another significant detour, Craig and his wife Michele decided to fulfill a dream by working at international schools. Craig taught in Warsaw, Poland while also pursuing his principal certification. He moved into school administration, first as an assistant principal and then principal as they worked their way around the globe. Along the way, not terribly aware of it at the time, he was developing what became Trust-Based Observations. He and his family returned to the US after a decade overseas and he wrote Trust-Based Observations, which came out in September, and now he is busy striving to change the world of teacher observations to a model of support that fosters risk taking and growth. During our conversation, we talk about the dreaded teacher observations. To be honest, this is one of those things that neither teachers nor administrators enjoy. And that is precisely why Craig set out to do them differently. He points out that teaching is an art and should be treated as such. Traditional observational approaches place pressure on accountability and leads to teachers playing it safe instead of being innovative and creative. Instruction becomes more about checking off boxes than authentic learning opportunities. Listen as Craig shares some practical tips and suggestions for revamping this outdated and ineffective approach to improving teacher practices. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care.
29:04
December 11, 2020
Season 2, Episode 18: Pause to Ponder - Walk Your Talk
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. ** The world of social media education is often filled with grandiose ideas. Of educators of all statuses, from educelebrities to those fresh to the space, spreading the most recent and trending concepts. These topics typically push back against traditional approaches and thus usually result in impassioned conversations and debates. As one of these educators, I delight in knowing that there exists such a space to have these much needed conversations. However, it is also important to note that there are plenty of individuals who speak these bold ideas while in these space yet fail to abide by their own recommendations. Those who preach but don't practice. Those who don't walk their talk. During this reflection, I share my thoughts on this phrase and how I have used to it to develop the foundational of my administrative ideology. I also spend time examining areas that administrators often fail to act on their own suggestions and the impact that this can have on their school communities. ** I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Until next time.
10:22
December 4, 2020
Season 2, Episode 17: Interview with Andre Daughty
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. In this episode, I chat with Andre Daughty’s who’s educational journey truly began after hearing Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu state, “If you observe children, they will teach you how to teach them.” That phrase shifted Andre’s philosophy of education. By observing the students in his own classroom at the elementary, secondary, and postgraduate levels, he differentiated curriculum and projects based on his students’ interests. His workshops and professional development seminars involve high energy, practical ways to use today’s strategies, collaboration, and fun stories to help connect the content to the attendee’s lives. He enjoys inspiring all through workshops, speaking engagements, seminars, and embedded coaching experiences. During our conversation, we reflect on the impact that the pandemic is having on education by exploring several questions. Why would we compare this year to others? What is it, exactly, that we are pushing? Why are we trying to normalize this? While we do not propose to have answers to these divisive ponderings, we do our best to offer our own insights to develop appropriate responses. We also address, head on, the very heart of this podcast by challenging common notions about our urban students. Andre insists that we look beyond the deficiencies and instead explore the roots reasons that so many of our students are behind. Only when we acknowledge and accept the historical inequities can we begin to see the current reality. I hope that you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms. This podcast is also featured on SchoolRubric.com, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe. Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group. Take care. Connect with Andre Twitter - @andredaughty YouTube LinkedIn
48:27
November 27, 2020
Season 2, Episode 16: Pause to Ponder - Thanksgiving
Its that time to give thanks. To be appreciative for all that you have. However, in our current setting, that is much easier said than done.  In this episode, I stress the importance of being thankful despite the chaos that seems to be ever present in the world around us. It is easy to identify all of the wrong in our lives but, upon careful examination, we can almost always identify those positive elements, those for which we should be grateful.  This episode also takes a short dive ... yes ... not a deep dive ... into mental health. This often overlooked consequence of the pandemic has resulted in numerous psychological breakdowns and has now begun to impact those who have never dealt with these issues.  Whatever your plans for the upcoming holiday season, please be safe.  
10:00
November 20, 2020
Season 2, Episode 15: Interview with Tracy Scott Kelly
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal, and an educational consultant. In this episode, I chat with Tracy Scott Kelly, a ten year veteran of teaching Special Education in California. He has taught grades K-12, and is also both an Adjunct and Full Time Lecturer at the University Level where he works with aspiring General Education and Special Education Teachers. Tracy has earned a B.A. in Economics, an M.A. in Special Education, and is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. He has even edited six books as he continues to write his own dissertation on the shortcomings of Special Education. During our conversation, Tracy shares his own educational story and how his academic struggles developed a passion for helping students experiencing similar issues. He points out that many school missions and visions sound great on paper but questions if their actions support their words. Tracy, like so many others, speaks out on the facade that is school reform and confesses that little has actually changed. He believes that this is due to educators being forced into positions of managers as opposed to leaders. Tracy encourages us to stop waiting and to start doing ... to speak up and provide the supports to push back against the norms. I hope that you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Follow Tracy Scott Kelly on Twitter
42:58
November 13, 2020
Season 2, Episode 14: Pause to Ponder - You Have the Power to Create Change
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this episode, I reflect on a quote that I recently shared with my staff, "You have the power to create change." Far too often we wait for change to happen, we hope that others will make changes for us. If we expect lasting and meaningful shifts to occur, we must not only focus our efforts on systemic changes but we must also embrace the power each of us has to begin implementing change within our own spaces.  In what ways can you model change within your classroom or school? How will you push back on traditional methods that no longer serve the needs of our students? 
09:36
November 6, 2020
Season 2, Episode 13: Interview with P. Sloan Joseph
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. In this episode, I chat with P. Sloan Joseph an instructional leader with over seventeen years of experience working with grades K4-12 in the areas of school & classroom culture (diversity, equity, inclusion, engagement) and technology. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (SC State University) and a Master of Arts in School Administration (Gardner-Webb University). Her career has included being a Business Education teacher, Title I Facilitator, New Teacher Mentor and Administrator. Sloan is currently the Instructional Technology Coach at Greer Middle School, where she facilitates training for students, parents/guardians, and staff. She is a co-organizer for Edcamp Greenville and co-creator of #BreatheEDU, a platform assisting school and district leaders with creating racially inclusive & equitable learning environments. She is a member of the Teach Better Team Speakers Network, and a member of SCASCD Emerging Leader Class of 2020. Sloan is also the host of Greater is in Me, a podcast centered around her life as a wife, mother, and educator. The purpose of the podcast is to inform, inspire, and influence listeners to fulfill the greatness that exists within. Greater is in Me is available on iTunes, Google Podcast, Anchor & Spotify. During our conversation, Sloan addressed a common thread in education today - relationships, but helped to deepen our collective understanding by encouraging us to consider building a rapport with students. Relationships are simply connections and can be either positive or negative. Rapport, however, is dependent upon mutual trust and respect, something she reminds us that needs to be curated over time. Sloan also connects this to diversity in that we need to be cognizant of our own privileges, both earned and unearned, and to learn how to respect the innate differences that exist between all of us. She suggests that we listen to varying perspectives, even if we do not agree and that maybe, just maybe, we could help to address the teacher shortage by changing what our students see in front of them each and every day. How are you showing up? I hope that you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Connect with Sloan! Instagram: @greaterisinme Twitter: @psloanjoseph Podcast: https://anchor.fm/greaterisinmepodcast 
40:07
October 30, 2020
Season 2, Episode 12: Pause to Ponder - Reimagining Education
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant. Let’s get started. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this episode I reflect on the need for deep, systematic change to address the current needs of education. The COVID-19 pandemic provided us with an opportunity to look at education in a very different way and to consider the myriad of possibilities on how we could best improve an antiquated system. Although innovative approaches were adopted, they are struggling to be maintained because the current system does not support them. Unless we address the foundational educational system, we face the very real possibility of returning to structures that we know do not work for all students. 
10:58
October 23, 2020
Season 2, Episode 11: Interview with Kwame Sarfo-Mensah
In this episode, I chat with Kwame Sarfo-Mensah, a 14-year veteran urban educator and the founder of Identity Talk Consulting, LLC., an independent educational consulting firm that provides professional development and consulting services to K-12 school districts, educators, colleges & universities and educational non-profit organizations. He is also the author of two books: "Shaping the Teacher Identity: 8 Lessons That Will Help Define the Teacher in You" and "From Inaction to 'In Action': Creating a New Normal for Urban Educators". As a staunch ambassador and advocate for teacher empowerment, Kwame has spoken at numerous national education conferences and worked diligently to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color in the education system. In January 2019, he was selected to be in the inaugural cohort of the InSPIRED (In-Service Professionals Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity) Fellowship, an initiative organized by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education for veteran teachers of color to recruit students of color to teach in Massachusetts. As an InSPIRED Teaching Fellow, Kwame facilitated professional development workshops for aspiring teachers at universities Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.and has served as a guest speaker for non-profit teacher pipeline programs such as Generation Teach and Worcester Public Schools’ Future Teachers Academy. A proud graduate of Temple University, Kwame holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.  He was honored as the 2019 National Member of the Year by Black Educators Rock, Inc. for his unwavering commitment to the advancement of the teacher profession.  Kwame's work has also been featured in Edutopia, Education Post, WGBH News, The Educators' Room, LLC., and Medium. During our conversation we engaged in a controversial, yet needed conversation around the idea that educational systems were not designed for students of color. Kwame discusses the need for teachers to actually begin developing content rich, culturally responsive lessons so that all of our students are prepared to transition into higher ed or the workplace. He stresses that students of color are often not being developed as critical thinkers and thus contributors to society but instead being conditioned for compliance and obedience. Kwame suggests taking inventory of our students' talents and developing opportunities for them to tap into that potential as opposed to adhering to narrow definitions of achievement. We also discussed the concept of advocacy and standing up for the students in our care. That it is our job, our duty to recognize our value and worth so that we are not intimidated to speak on behalf of our students when there exists injustice. Follow Kwame here  Shaping the Teacher Identity: 8 Lessons That Will Help Define the Teacher in You From “Inaction” to “In Action”: Creating a New Normal for Urban Educators
46:04
October 16, 2020
Season 2, Episode 10: Pause to Ponder - Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.  I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal, and an educational consultant. This episode is a pause to ponder segment. These biweekly sessions will allow me to share with you my personal thoughts and reflections on a wide spectrum of topics as they relate to education. It is my hope that you will be able to take something from these segments and apply it in a meaningful way as you continue to do amazing work. Remember, while we all have different roles, we all have a single job, educating our students. In this reflection, I consider how we seem to be stuck in a seemingly never ending cycle of battling systems of oppression. How is it possible that after so many years and with so much reform, we are still having the same conversations? Well maybe that's part of the problem. We need to move beyond simply having conversations, of talking about ideal situations and the forces that preventing that from becoming a reality. Maybe we need to stop waiting for someone else to save us and to instead take targeted and intentional action.  Listen as I share examples from history that have resurfaced in today's society and my call to speak up and act out. Afterall, nothing changes if nothing changes. 
09:53
October 9, 2020
Season 2, Episode 9: Interview with Aviva Levin
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal, and an educational consultant. In this episode, I chat with Aviva Levin, a passionate podcaster who loves interviewing educators about their practice as the host of “Lesson: Impossible – An Exploration of Educational Innovation”.  She was a teacher in Canada for ten years, and is now a grad student as well as an enthusiastic volunteer and professional development presenter in Washington State. During our chat, we acknowledge that there are issues within education and explore the ideas of rebuilding within the system or designing something new and innovative. We also discuss how lonely it can be when we push back against common practices but how we can find like minded individuals and use those connections to help make necessary changes. In exploring the obstacles in changing the narrative, Aviva points out that there is often a disconnect between the experiences of our educators and that of our students. Teachers strive to bridge that gap but are fearful because of doing it wrong or even being ostracized by peers for not adhering to norm. Despite this, she encourages everyone to live their values, understanding that not everyone will agree with them. She also suggests developing solutions, something that can be done by starting small within your own space, and not simply pointing out the problems that exist. I hope that you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Be sure to follow Aviva here: Facebook - https://facebook.com/lessonimpossible/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/avivalevin Instagram - https://instagram.com/lessonimpossible/ Linked In - https://linkedin.com/in/aviva-levin-8483511a7 Website: http://lessonimpossible.com
29:53
October 2, 2020
Season 2, Episode 7: Interview with Carly Spina
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal, and an educational consultant. In this episode, I chat with Carly Spina, an educator with 15 years of experience in Multilingual Education, including her service as an EL teacher, a third-grade bilingual classroom teacher, and a district-wide EL/Bilingual/Dual Language Instructional Coach. She is currently serving 8 schools (EC-8) in a linguistically rich community of over 60 languages and over 800 active EL students. Spina has engaged in the successful co-creation of several parent outreach programs, Title I tutoring programs for students in grades 3-5, mentoring programs for middle school students, co-teaching initiatives, and more. She is deeply passionate about equity and advocacy for multilingual learners and fights for access and inclusive opportunities for kids and families. Spina actively fights against food insecurity in the community she serves. She has spoken at various national conferences and events and has received several awards over the years, including the Illinois Education Association Reg Weaver Human & Civil Rights Award in 2015 and the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in the Team Category for EL Community Engagement in 2019. She was the WIDA Featured Educator in April 2019 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in July of 2019. Spina is an active member of the EL/Bilingual community on social media and enjoys networking and growing with teachers and leaders across the country.  She is currently working on her first book with EduMatch Publishing. During our chat, we talked about the need for us to change the systems in which we operate. She shared her experiences working with parents of linguistically diverse students and the importance of amplifying their voices, not speaking on their behalf. Spina also examined the varied definitions of parental involvement as they shift due to cultural differences. Maybe this is a reflection of perspective and not attitude. We also discussed methods of engaging the community, beyond simply checking off tasks, and instead embedding into our everyday practices. She encourages educators to embrace their statuses as change agents and recognize that there are no small wins. In fact, incremental gains lead to monumental success. I hope that you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Be sure to follow Carly on Twitter @MrsSpinasClass and check out her district at #Glenview34.
27:49
September 18, 2020
Season 2, Episode 5: Interview with Chey & Pav
Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations. I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal, and an educational consultant. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In this episode I chat with Chey & Pav, co-hosts of The Staff Room Podcast and djs of the weekly radio show, The Drive. This is a first for these two experienced teachers from the greater Toronto area in Ontario, Canada as they have never been a guest on someone else’s show. Pav Wander, also known as Wander Woman, is now serving in an elementary school. She served five years as a middle school science and math teacher in the same school that she attended as a student. Chey, on the other hand, hails from Ottawa, but has served as a language and PE teacher for just over 20 years in the same middle school as his co-host. During our chat, they share how they began their podcasting journey by simply allowing their passion for education to flourish in other arenas. By speaking with, not at, Chey and Pav have not only developed an impressive network of educators that have undoubtedly benefited but they have also learned and grown through this process to become better educators themselves. We also discussed the power of building relationships and how shared experiences, such as those that we are currently experiencing with this global pandemic, help to strengthen and validate the work that we are doing. The conversation continued as we explored how educators can, and should, amplify their voices, which can be done through so many formats and mediums. As a bonus we get to hear the background story of why Chey is known as the Gym Guy. Enjoy. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Check out Chey & Pav here  The Staff Room Podcast: Twitter     Podcast The Drive: Twitter     Show Check out these great shoutouts www.schoolrubric.com www.voiced.ca ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For more information about the host, visit his website or connect with him on Twitter.
48:50
September 4, 2020
Season 2, Episode 4: Pause to Ponder - Nice White Parents
Years ago, producer Chana Joffe-Walt started reporting on one school in New York. She thought the story was about segregation and inequality in public schools. But the more she looked into it, the more she realized she was witnessing something else. She was seeing the inordinate power of white parents at this school. This episode shares three themes that presented themselves to me as I listened to this five-part series hosted by The New York Times Company - that very few people are willing to put in the work necessary to address equity; that equality means leveling the playing field and that usually translates to those with more typically receive less while those who have often received less begin to receive more (sacrifice for greater good); and that issues become real when they begin to impact those in power.  This reflective piece highlights not just my struggle as an educational leader combating systemic issues of racism and oppression but with my own understanding of the often hidden forces driving these systems and my eventual acceptance these are more than just misguided notions. 
12:07
August 28, 2020
Interview with Casey Jakubowski
In this episode, I chat with Casey Jakubowsi, an educational researcher out of New York. Although he was born in Buffalo, New York, Casey and his parents moved throughout the state because of his father’s work. Casey received undergraduate degrees from Fredonia State University, Binghamton State University, and University of Buffalo before completing his doctoral degree at Suny Albany where he studied educational leadership with a focus on rural education. He started his academic career in rural education and spent a large amount of time working with those living in the commonly unknown spaces between the various small cities in upstate New York, an area vastly different from the populous urban areas that make up much of the southern portion of the state. Casey even took these experiences and transformed them into his book, “Thinking About Teaching.” You may also be surprised to know that he is an Eagle Scout. During our chat, we discuss the commonly held misconceptions about rural education, that they are “backwards” or “deficient.” Casey pushes back against these beliefs pointing out an urban normativity that prioritizes a different set of standards. In fact, he points out that the struggles that so many schools are experiencing with adapting to this forced change of remote learning are not new for many rural schools because they have become resourceful after spending decades adapting to issues not often present in urban settings. Casey also shares the need to provide wrap around services for our students and their families and how we define and provide resources for education. He even provides three great suggestions on how we can all improve the educational experience for everyone. Enjoy. Find a copy of his book here. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyJ_edu
39:57
August 21, 2020
Pause to Ponder - Principal Permissions
Despite being told that it's not always necessary to ask for permission, I often found myself granting permissions for what I thought was clearly established expectations. For that reason, I decided to begin our school year with my five Principal Permissions.  1. Permission to learn and grow. 2. Permission to take risks. 3. Permission to fail. 4. Permission to love. 5. Permission to have fun. It was my hope that these permissions would clarify any misunderstanding that I believed in the expertise of my staff and that I wanted them to be the amazing educators that I knew that they could be. I did not want them to feel as if they were constrained by policies and politics.  They have taken full advantage of these permissions and have produced some amazing results. 
13:09
August 14, 2020
Interview with Jennifer Appel
In this episode, I chat with Jennifer Appel, an educator, author, coach, speaker, co-founder of Award Winning Culture, and Chief Heart Officer for the Teach Better Team.  She is also the author of “Award Winning Dog.” Jennifer is driven to create an environment where all students are able to learn and become passionate about serving others.  Through her leadership, her school was awarded national and international awards for creating a culture of excellence through kindness, service, and empathy. During our chat, Jennifer discusses how she was leading a school that was over capacity and how she implemented a comprehensive approach to SEL using the Character Strong program to address the school culture and climate that was beginning to buckle under the weight of so many people. She shares some practical tips such as her school’s “house rules” of character, excellence, and community as well as the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. Jennifer also stresses the fact that everyone can do this work by starting simple and focusing on just one thing. Enjoy. Connect on Twitter: @jennifermappel @awcpodcasting Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Award-Winning-Dog-Jennifer-Appel/dp/1735058505/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=award+winning+dog&qid=1596753891&sr=8-2
30:49
August 7, 2020
Pause to Ponder - Do One Thing
In this word of chaos, it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is easy to look around at all that needs to be done and be tempted to give up or burn yourself out by tackling so much that nothing gets accomplished. I know because this is how I felt not too long ago. As I listened to stories of racial tensions across the country, as I received conflicting guidelines about how to keep me and my family safe, as my phone was consistently providing me the latest updates yet providing no answers or guidance, I found myself in a dark place. I was burnt out. I cared but I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to move forward.  I recorded this episode because I figured that there are many out there who feel the same way. Maybe you have found your way out or maybe you are on the brink of collapsing. Either way, this episode is for you. Allow yourself the luxury of doing just one thing. Find that one thing that is both important and that you can control. Start small.  We know that successes, no matter how small, flood our systems with dopamine, a feel good chemical. That encourages us to take another step in pursuit of another success. And the system continues. The problem is when we devote our time and energy to those things that we cannot control and thus never experience success.  Remember this, small successes turn into monumental accomplishments. 
06:06
July 31, 2020
Interview with Suzanne Dailey
In this episode, I chat with Suzanne Dailey, a proud instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District, the 3rd largest in Pennsylvania. Here she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a Masters Degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and English Bulldog. During our chat, Suzanne shares a much needed and timely concept of teaching happier by infusing joy into classrooms. She discusses the need for modifying traditional approaches to professional development by leveraging teacher voice and choice to focus on their individual needs and learning styles. Suzanne acknowledges the struggle of infusing the human element into remote teaching but also stresses the importance of teachers and leaders to show up in the best way we can for those we serve and to continue showing them love, compassion, and support. Enjoy. Twitter: @DaileySuzanne   /   #CBSDPD   /   #CBDLP
24:39
July 24, 2020
Pause to Ponder - The Current State of Education
It appears that our time has come and gone. For a brief moment, educators were recognized for the myriad of tasks that we complete on a daily basis. We were thanked for not just providing an education but serving as counselors, nurses, parents, and so much more. This is, of course, until we bucked back against the system. In an attempt to get the country reopened and revitalizing the economy, there has been increased pressure for schools to open fully. This would require staff and students to return to campuses despite their seemingly to be no logical possibility while also adhering to the guidelines set forth by the CDC. To make matters worse, we have no become targets of verbal attacks and threats from the highest levels of our government. From being told that we are indoctrinating our students with falsehoods in an attempt to diminish their patriotism to threatening the funding that allows millions of students to receive a high quality education, we have become a target by those pushing for a return to normal.  In this brutally honest, yet candid episode, I share my personal insights into the current state of education.  
12:53
July 17, 2020
Interview with Joshua Buckley
In this episode I chat with Joshua Buckley who is a high school social studies teacher in Mesa, AZ and also serves as the president of his local teachers’ union. He is married to an awesome principal and has two children, one who is about to start their sophomore year in college and the other getting ready to tackle remote learning as a 4th grader. When not talking about government and economics with his seniors, he advocates for educators and education in Mesa and Arizona. In the last few years he has co-chaired a state wide ballot initiative on education funding, helped his district organize successful campaigns around bonds and overrides, knocked on doors for several pro-education candidates, and has worked to bring educator voices into the decision making process in his district. Joshua is also the co-host of Punk Rock Classrooms, a podcast dedicated to bringing the punk rock ideas of passion, unity, and DIY to schools. During our chat, we discuss that schools should be places where all students succeed and thus the importance of using our voices to fight back against systems that deny our students access to their fullest potential. He insists on being loud because that is how change happens. Josh and I also talk about the need for putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations by trying something new as continuous growth for educators is essential. Twitter: @JoshRBuckley @PunkClassrooms
42:02
July 10, 2020
Pause to Ponder - The Myth of the Absent Parent
One thing that struggling schools cite as their most frustrating obstacle is the lack of parental involvement. Schools consistently suggest that parents must not care about their students' academic success because they do not make the time to be involved by attending events or meetings. There even exists research and statistics touting that the lack of progress in schools is due, in large part, to the intentional absence of parents.  There is a serious issue with this narrative. During the recent COVID-19 outbreak and resulting shift to remote learning, it became abundantly clear that parents played a very active role in their students' learning.  The problem wasn't their involvement, it was our definition of an involved parent. 
08:25
July 4, 2020
Interview with Lisa Gaede
In this episode, I chat with Lisa Gaede, an educator who is excited to begin her 30th year in education as a Speech and Language Pathologist in an elementary school. Although she was born and raised in Winona, MN, she currently lives with her family in a small town in Wisconsin where she commutes an hour, each way, to work everyday. Lisa is remarried to Paul, has 1 son and 4 stepsons. When she is not working, Lisa loves to exercise, read, crochet, get tattoos, practice her ukulele, and snuggle with her dogs! During our chat, we address the steps that Lisa took to step outside of her comfort zone. She credits her connection with Sarah Johnson, co-author of Balance Like a Pirate, on Twitter. She shares how she realized that one must love themselves before they can love others. Lisa provides tips on developing an attitude of gratitude and the importance of consistently demonstrating positivity both in and out of school. Enjoy. References: Twitter - @chattygaede Book References: Balance Like a Pirate by Jessica & Sarah Johnson Dare to Lead by Brene Brown Podcast References: Unlocking Us by Brene Brown In Awe by Sarah Johnson
28:01
June 26, 2020
Pause to Ponder - 5 Tips to Combat Racism
With so many conversations surrounding the issue of racism, there is a lack of actionable advice on how to actively address racism. Listen as I share 5 practical tips to combat racism.  1. Be a Partner 2. Be A Student 3. Be Honest 4. Be A Role Model 5. Be Resilient
10:27
June 19, 2020
Interview with Jeffrey Millner
In this episode, I chat with Jeffrey Millner, the assistant principal of Thomas Dell High School in Virginia. He has served as an educator for 22 years as both a teacher for exceptional students and as an administrator in both rural and urban settings. A lover of sports, Jeffrey coached softball and baseball and even received the Most Improved Player Award while playing 1st base at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA. He has also participated in several 5K & 10K marathons. Jeff enjoys reading and spending time with his son. We chat about how he uses job shadow days at his school as a means to wrap his arms around the community. Providing students with an opportunity to investigate potential jobs can help save time and thus money in schools which help parents already struggling financially. We also discuss the power of student voices in helping to drive the “why” behind our initiatives. Once students get it, allow them to work with other students. Enjoy. Twitter - @JAMillner Instagram - @JeffMillner LinkedIn - @JeffMillner
23:42
June 12, 2020
Pause to Ponder - Aspiration, Access, & Advocacy
Pandemics and protests? The world in which we are living is vastly different then what it was a few short months ago. Some educators are now faced with closing out the school year while simultaneously helping their students navigate the chaos surrounding them.  It is no surprise that so many feel lost and are seeking advice on how to best address the situation with their students as well as provide support and guidance. This episode focuses on three things that I believe all students, especially those who are marginalized and disenfranchised, need not only now but always. Listen as I share how I applied the concepts of aspiration, access, and advocacy at my own school to help our students find success. 
10:24
June 5, 2020
Interview with Tara Desiderio
Tara Desiderio is a K-5 Principal at Wescosville Elementary School in the East Penn School District in Pennsylvania. She has served as an educator for more than 20 years with 12 of those in administration. Tara strives on building strong positive relationships with students and adults and finds joy in helping them do the same. In this episode we focus on the power of building strong positive relationships not just within schools but with parents and the community as well. Tara points out the importance of meeting our parents where they are at and not forgetting about the using your own voice during the digital age. We also dive into owning our mistakes when failing to meet the mark.  Find Tara here Twitter: @Tara_Desiderio
29:24
May 29, 2020
Pause to Ponder - Serenity, Courage, Wisdom
Serenity, Courage, Wisdom. Three simple yet powerful words.  Reflecting on an experience in which I took my daughter for her high school graduation item pick-up, I recount how these three words helped to shape my message to her.  This episode is for all of you who are struggling.  It is okay not to be okay. It is not okay to give up.
12:43
May 22, 2020
Interview with Elijah Carbajal
In this episode, I chat with Elijah Carbajal, an innovative educator who believes in challenging the norms by creative authentic learning environments by immersing his students in the content. Imagine finding gold doubloons and secret messages from Blackbeard and the excitement of his actual arrival. This is just a taste of how this educator is helping to change the narrative for education.  Elijah is an educator and blogger currently living and working in Aztec, NM. His activism includes mental health and suicide awareness, as well as advocacy for student equity, safety, and positive student relationships. In his spare time, Elijah loves to create music, exercise, and watch The Office while hanging out with his cat, Nala.
35:38
May 15, 2020
Pause to Ponder - The Brain's Response to Perceived Threats
Did you know that our brains are hardwired to consistently scan our environments for changes? When we notice something, whether consciously or not, that is a perceived threat, our brains immediately begin releasing chemicals to modify our physical state in preparation to respond. This episode will discuss those changes, how they impact our students' abilities to learn, why some are more susceptible than others, and practical steps that we can take to both minimize potential situations and how to best respond when they occur. 
17:33
May 8, 2020
Interview with Heather Shaw
Heather Shaw has been an educator for over 20 years serving as both a teacher and a Vice Principal. She is currently teaching English and AP Language.  Heather is also the mother to 4 boys, the youngest of whom is a senior in high school.    In this episode we discuss our diverse learner population and the importance of providing them with opportunities to showcase their learning through passion projects. Links: Twitter: @mshaw27 Instagram: @shawschaos School website: https://www.sanjuan.edu/
21:29
May 1, 2020
Trailer
A brief introduction to The Counter Narrative Podcast.
02:08
April 12, 2020
Three Enlightened Minutes - The Staffroom Podcast
This episode covers my "Three Enlightened Minutes" for The Staffroom Podcast hosted by Chey and Pav out of Toronto. In it, I discuss moving beyond hastags, or shifting from discussion to action. With the COVID-19 outbreak, so many educators are discussing needed changes but this is the ideal time to put things into place ... and not just temporarily.  Take a listen and let me know what you think. 
03:09
April 5, 2020